Section 5 to 5-2.2
January 1972


  1. Avoid fueling a boat at night or in rough water except in an emergency.
  2. Calculate the desired amount of fuel before reaching the fuel dock and order only that amount. Fuel tanks should not be filled to more than 90% of capacity to permit thermal expansion without overflow from vent.
  3. Before opening the fuel filling pipe inlet:
    1. Extinguish all open flames aboard, including galley equipment.
    2. Forbid all smoking on board or on the fuel dock. Drown all butts.
    3. Turn OFF the main switch and all branch circuit switches to be sure there is no live electrical circuit on board during fueling. (Do not turn OFF the main switch until the engine is stopped, to avoid damage to the alternator).
    4. Tightly close all hatches, windows, doors, and ports.
  4. Watch the fueling closely. Be sure that only a nonautomatic, latch-open type of nozzle is used, compelling the operator's continuous hand pressure to keep fuel flowing, and that only the ordered quantity of fuel is put aboard. Insure that the operator maintains constant contact of nozzle to fill pipe.
  5. When the desired quantity of fuel has been put aboard, make sure that the cap closing the inlet is tightly closed. Wash down any spills. Check the vent opening to be sure that no fuel is being discharged at this point.
  6. Open wide all hatches, doors, windows, and ports.
  7. If the boat is equipped with electrically operated bilge blowers (or gas detectors), turn ON the branch circuit switches which control the circuits to these devices and then turn ON the main switch. Permit blower to operate for at least five minutes and check the ventilation cowls for odor of gasoline vapors being discharged.
  8. If the boat is not blower equipped, wait at least ten minutes and check for gasoline odors in all low spaces of the boat.
  9. When your personal inspection and observation assure you that there are no gasoline fumes remaining in the boat the engine may be started and full electric service restored as desired.



Your outboard engine is normally used when there is little or no wind and, thus, the water would be fairly smooth. Under these conditions you should be able to power at hull speed using a 6 horse power motor. If you are in an area that has strong currents, adverse wind conditions or other problems that dictate greater power, then anything up to a 9-1/2 horse power engine may be mounted BUT NOTHING LARGER. This is the point where additional power just won't push the boat any faster and the mounting area will not stand the additional loadings and stress.

Before starting your outboard motor be sure it is securely clamped in the outboard well, that the fuel line is connected and the fuel valve on the tank is in the OPEN position. Pump the ball pump on the fuel line sufficiently to bring fuel up to the motor and OPEN THE CHOKE. If three or four pulls on the Starter Cord fail to start the motor consult the manufacturer's manual provided with your outboard.

When through using the motor, shut it down in accordance with the manufacturer's recommended procedures, disconnect the fuel line, loosen the motor clamps, and carefully lift the motor from the outboard well. The outboard should be allowed to drain and then securely stowed with the propeller end slightly lower than the rest of the motor to assure any additional drainage of water from the cooling system. The fuel valve on the tank should be turned to the OFF position at this time. Place the outboard plug in the outboard well to prevent water from splashing into the cockpit and, in some cases, minimize hull drag.


The Motorboard Act of 1940 requires that "At least two ventilator ducts be fitted with cowls or their equivalent for the purpose of properly and efficiently ventilating the bilges of every engine and fuel tank compartment of boats constructed or decked over after April 25, 1940, using gasoline or other fuel of a flashpoint less than 110ºF." At the present time major changes in the concepts and requirements for ventilation are being formulated.

To meet the above requirements it is recommended that the outboard and fuel tank be stowed in one of the cockpit seat lockers, as far forward as possible. Natural venting of this compartment can best be accomplished by mounting two 3" cowls, port and starboard, on the stern deck, one facing forward (intake) and one aft (exhaust). 3" ducts are run forward to the lowest point of the compartment to draw any gasoline fumes out of this area.

If you wish any additional information on this subject, please consult your local Coast Guard District Office as they will have the latest rulings or interpretations on these regulations.


For increased safety and better weight distribution, an optional 9 gallon fuel tank may be installed in place of the portable tank normally used with outboard motors. It is located under the starboard settee berth and is filled from a Deck Fill Plate by the starboard upper shroud. This Deck Fill Plate is grounded to the fuel tank it fills and this fuel tank is in turn grounded to a keel bolt with #8 AWG Black Stranded Wire, in accordance with American Boat and Yacht Council Project P-2-70. The tank vents out the transom.

A FUEL GAUGE is on the tank, along with the SHUT-OFF VALVE. When not using the motor, this valve should be CLOSED, with the handle at RIGHT ANGLES to the fuel line. When the line is OPEN, the handle will be PARALLEL to the fuel line.

The tank should only be filled from the deck fill plate and with the proper gasoline - oil mixture recommended by the manufacturer of your outboard motor. PLEASE REFER TO SECTION 5-1 OF THIS MANUAL FOR THE SAFE FUELING PRACTICES THAT MUST BE FOLLOWED.


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This page last modified October 18, 1998